April 2, 2015 / 2:50 pm

MLB Preseason Award Picks

National League MVP

Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins

The only thing that has kept Stanton out of the conversation for MVP in the past is the mediocrity of the teams on which he played. That shouldn’t be the case this year as the Marlins revamped their roster in the offseason and should contend for a playoff spot this season. If the Marlins are going to contend, Stanton is going to need to put up big numbers to front the charge.

Other Notable Candidates –

Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers), Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates), Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles Dodgers).

National League Cy Young

Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers

Kershaw has won three of the last four Cy Youngs and has put up absolutely ridiculous numbers in all four of those years. The crazy part is he’s just entering his prime at age 26. The Dodgers are poised to have another great year, and Kershaw will surely lead the way. This is Kershaw’s award until someone proves otherwise.

Other Notable Candidates –

Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), Stephan Strasburg (Washington Nationals), Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals), Gerit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates), Zack Greinke (Los Angeles Dodgers).

National League Rookie of the Year

Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs

When he does reach the big leagues Bryant should have an immediate impact. He wowed all of baseball during spring training by leading the league in home runs. He won’t start the season in the majors, but when he does get called up he’ll put up big numbers and capture the Rookie of the Year award.

Other Notable Candidates –

Jorge Soler (Chicago Cubs), Joc Pederson (Los Angeles Dodgers), Noah Syndergaard (New York Mets), Yasmany Tomas (Arizona Diamondbacks).

American League MVP

Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The scary thing about Trout is he won the MVP last season by arguably putting up the worst numbers in his three-year career. Even his “bad” years are not so bad. I think he’ll cut down on his strikeouts this season, which will cause his average to go up. He’s a perennial candidate for the award and should have another big year in 2015.

Other Notable Candidates –

Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers), Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox), Victor Martinez (Detroit Tigers), Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners), Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays), Josh Donaldson (Toronto Blue Jays), Hanley Ramirez (Boston Red Sox), Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)

American League Cy Young

Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox

Since becoming a starter in 2012 Sale has finished in at least the top six in the Cy Young voting each year, including a third place finish in 2014. This 2015 version of the White Sox should be the best team Sale has had a chance to play for, which should translate into more wins for the young southpaw. He has the makings to be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. If he stays healthy for the whole season, it could mean the first Cy Young award in the young career of Chris Sale.

Other Notable Candidates –

Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners), David Price (Detroit Tigers), Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians), Garrett Richards (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Yordano Ventura (Kansas City Royals), Masahiro Tanaka (New York Yankees).

American League Rookie of the Year

Aaron Sanchez – Toronto Blue Jays

Sanchez is one of the most highly touted prospects in the Blue Jays system, and they will be depending on him an awful lot this upcoming season. He was set to pitch this season out of the bullpen, but with the loss of Marcus Stroman for the whole season, Sanchez has been slotted into the starting rotation. He pitched a little bit out of the bullpen for the ‘Jays last season and was really effective posting an ERA of 1.09.  The young righty has electric stuff. He has high strikeout potential with his mid- to high- 90s fastball. For Toronto to have a shot at the playoffs this year, Sanchez will need to step up. If he does, his play could warrant the Rookie of the Year award.

Other Notable Candidates –

Daniel Norris (Toronto Blue Jays), Carlos Rodon (Chicago White Sox), Rusney Castillo (Boston Red Sox), Brandon Finnegan (Kansas City Royals), Alex Meyer (Minnesota Twins).

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